The Challenge: Educating More Students in a Difficult Economy

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There is a call for more Americans to have post-secondary education so they can function more effectively in the global economy. Given the national situation of a tight economy with little or no new funds for higher education, how can more students be graduated in the coming years? Two reports address this issue.

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Quality Advocates: Learning about Recent Team Improvement Initiatives

Since 1991 over 900 innovation and improvement teams across the University have identified ways to streamline processes and enhance results. This Quality Advocates highlights what three units have done to operate more efficiently and effectively.

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Quality Advocates: Understanding the Enrollment Management Process in Times of Limited Resources

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Quality Advocates: Projecting the Impact of the Current Economy on Higher Education

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Do You Know? Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

What is the difference between efficiency and effectiveness?

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Cost Saving Ideas: Suggestions that have been received at OPIA’s Effectiveness and Efficiency Ideas

Some of the suggestions received:

  • Stop printing the student phone book and possibly the faculty-staff directory – just use the online directory
  • Send one or two copies of glossy publications to each unit, rather than a copy to each individual in that unit, unless specific individuals request a copy
  • For items ordered online  at Penn State’s computer store , offer the option of picking them up, rather than sending them via UPS
  • Develop a pool of administrative support staff who can fill temporary vacancies across a unit or the University, in place of hiring and training temporary staff

Submit your ideas for increased efficiency and effectiveness at Penn State.

Support for Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Your Unit

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment supports the University’s efforts to plan, assess, and improve programs and services. The Office is available, at no charge, to consult with units and use organizational change tools to help units assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. If you would like to discuss the planning, quality, or assessment needs of your unit with one of our consultants, please contact the Office at 814-863-8721 or e-mail

The Quality Endeavors newsletter is published several times each semester. If you have any questions or comments about what you read here, or if you would like to suggest items for future newsletters, please contact Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, at 814-863-8721 or To read past issues, see the Office’s Web site at /s/5ztbIb.

To subscribe, join our mailing list or contact the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment at 814-863-8721.

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